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Archive for May, 2010

Stocking Up

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to run to the store unless you wanted to?  No more dashing to the store every couple of days to get a couple of ingredients for dinner that night, no more coming home with $110 worth of groceries when all you meant to pick up were bread and milk, no more paying full price for the things your family uses the most.  That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

I am here to tell you that this is possible if you follow a simple guideline I like to call the “Pantry Principle”.  You basically build up a food storage, buying things when they are ridiculously cheap and storing them for when you need them.  There are two major benefits that I see from following this principle:

1.  You can save a whole lot of money.  If you stock up on stuff when it is cheap then you never have to buy it when it is expensive.  This works just as well for foodstuffs like flour, canned fruits and veggies, salsa, mac & cheese, and chips (Who said your food storage had to be full of only “needs”?  Stock up on the stuff your family likes!) as for toiletries like toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo.  If you have determined that the price is right then go ahead and buy a few extras!  It costs a little bit more up front, but it will save you money in the long run.  (Don’t go in to debt to build up your food storage, of course!)  Let’s take an example.  I use a lot of condensed soups in my cooking, so I am always looking for a deal on them.  Last week I matched a sale with a coupon I had (more on couponing later) and was able to get four cans of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup for one dollar!  Usually those cans sell for around $1.25 each.  Just in that one transaction I saved $4, a savings of 80%!  Now of course I didn’t need four cans all for one day, but that’s kind of the point.  I have enough to last until I can find more on sale again!  In this way I have complete control over the price I am willing to pay.  Over time the savings is going to rack up and you will see your grocery bill go down dramatically.

2.  It’s always good to have a little food storage for a rainy day.  Some people say you need enough for a couple of weeks, some say a few months, and some even go so far as to have an entire year’s worth of food hoarded away for their family.  It’s brilliant.  It’s kind of like being a squirrel.  Since we never know when our own personal winter is going to set in (ie. job loss, natural disaster, illness) it’s always good to have a little storage set aside.

You can start small.  Over time (and probably in less time than you think) you will see the small contributions you make to your pantry make a big difference.  You can have peace of mind knowing that you are saving money and that you are prepared in case of an emergency that prohibits you from getting to the store.  I’d say that feels pretty good!

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